Newton: Town Meeting To Address Juvenile Food Insecurity

Source: Township Journal

Residents are invited to join the Weekend Bag Program in a town hall setting to support and recognize juvenile food insecurity in Sussex County.

Learn about the program’s mission and challenges at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 11 at Merriam Avenue Elementary School, 81 Merriam Ave., Newton. Radio host Bill Spadea will be a special guest.

The Homer’s Girls food truck will be there at 5:30 p.m., selling dinner items, desserts and drinks.

Olivia and Magdalen Costello are calling for action as the youngest members of the Sussex County Chamber of Commerce. The sisters run the nonprofit organization, which was created in 2016 by their older sister, Isobel.

The program provides food and hygiene products to students throughout the county who otherwise would not have food during the weekend. It aims to provide for students where free assisted meal programs don’t reach.

The Weekend Bag Program supports 16 schools and 167 students each week while remaining an anonymous helping hand.

It expanded during the coronavirus pandemic, and “between May and June (2020), we were able to provide over 800 bags,” said Olivia, president of organization.

“To date, we have provided over 120,000 meals to our peers in Sussex County, and we are growing and expanding.”

Schools that have adopted the Weekend Bag Program:
Merriam Avenue School
Halsted Middle School
Sussex County Charter School for Technology
Sussex County Technical High School
Hardyston Township Elementary School
Hardyston Township Middle School
Montague Township School
Stillwater Township School
Sussex County Community College

For information, go online to

To donate, make out checks to the Weekend Bag Program and mail to P.O. Box 205, Andover, NJ 07821.

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